Originally Posted by chazbird
King Air Vmo for a 200 = 260, for a 90 = 226, both in KTS. For a turbine they use Vmo (max operating) instead of Vne. But that's splitting hairs - I'm just sorta kinda interested if there are dive outfits that go beyond Vmo, that 300 you quote for a King Air 200 would do it. Maybe things have been cleaned up but there have been, once upon a time, some reputations in the business that were reported to be less than stellar - although I'm not in the bizz, so what do I know? I do know once a plane is consigned to being a jump plane it is well used and thereafter its resale value is virtually nil, except to another dive out fit. (massive cycles for one). So, I was wondering with that sort of background what the mentality may be as far as airspeed excursions.
When a King or Otter lands do they keep one or both engines running as they load the jumpers? I could see a definite operational/cycle reduction value in that, as well as a definite risk.
I think the USPA has done a great job working with DZ owners and the FAA to insure the safety of the aircraft and the jumpers. Years ago there may have been some questionable aircraft and pilots flying loads.
On busy days the planes do not shut down , they land and load immediately. 20 loads a day is not uncommon where I jump. Now they are flying a Caravan during the winter they will bring in a twin otter and a 212 Casa. They also hot fuel between loads.
The Caravan is a great single turbine jump plane, plus now with the XP42A upgrade which swaps out the Caravan's standard 675 SHP PT6A-114A engine for a more powerful 850 SHP PT6A-42A it becomes a little rocket ship on climb out with a full load of jumpers.
Quote from Caravan on steroids article
" The XP42A mod is for skydiving
centers, we experimented with the
skydive descent at flight idle, pushing
over to maintain the 180-knot redline.
With the VSI pegged solid at 3000
fpm down, we timed an eardrum-splitting
4000 fpm descent, then quickly
resumed a 500 fpm letdown.
Combining the improved climb rate
and rapid descent, skydive centers will
be able to take four loads per hour to
the top of the non-oxygen altitudes".
All the jump pilots I know take their flying very seriously, I know that many of them are building time to get a job with the airlines or further there careers in aviation. Plus the large amount of time and money it takes to learn to fly these days and the competition for jobs in the industry, fucking up is not an option.